Thursday, May 27, 2010

Editorial: Needs, not wants should rule plans

Once again we find the unnamed Courier editor arguing against something he doesn't like by asserting that he is the best judge of what the city "needs." Yet he does not bother to build an argument for why this particular expenditure would be a luxury, other than an utterly spurious dichotomy comparing it to manhole covers.

I happen to agree that spending a quarter million clams to remodel the old clubhouse for event rentals is dumb on several fronts, not least because the City should not be in the event-rental business (any more than it should be in the golf-course or restaurant business, but that's a rant for another day). I know something about that building from when the City tried to trick my struggling nonprofit into paying for the asbestos abatement a decade ago. The location is awful, the neighbors will adamantly oppose any new traffic, and the market for rentals is already oversupplied and will be for another dozen years. The City needs to give up on that albatross -- which it made redundant by building the new clubhouse ages ago -- pull it down, clean up the site and move on. (What the City Manager and golf-course manager really want is more office space, but they have to keep that ambition sub rosa.)

The Courier isn't arguing from practicality or economic sense, instead the editor offers only sloppy thinking, propaganda techniques and uninformed personal prejudice. This is no way to inform the public or convince anyone. Do your research, editor, think through your argument, and try to spend a little more time on your editorials than I put into a blog post.

Related: City should shift money to needs

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